WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Furniture by Design

Furniture By Design
by Graham Blackburn

Lyons & Burford, NY 1997
Hardcover, 135 pp, $30.00
ISBN: 1-55821-512-3

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    Design considerations often come more of necessity than of aesthetics. A five-foot long breakfront with center drawers and two hinged doors will require different assembly procedures than a five-foot wide entertainment center with shelving above and below the centered TV cavity.
     The designer can have the best-laid plans known to man, but then what do you do if you've ordered the widest available 4/4 cherry and find all you can acquire to work with is narrow, 3/4-in. boards? You have to improvise, and the design considerations may have to be adapted to materials in a pleasing way.
     Blackburn's book is especially useful because, in line drawings and well explained text, he leads the reader through adaptations dealing with everything from unsightly sapwood to customers' whimsy as it affects construction.
     Overall, he is leading the woodworker to think through the possibilities. "You won't learn much if, having figured something out, you repeat the procedure blindly or, even worse, unthinkingly follow someone else's cutting list."
     Blackburn includes fourteen different furniture projects, varying in complexity. If you don't build them, just reading about the variety of choices and adaptations he made in their construction will provide an education.

...Barb Siddiqui